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Boys & Girls Club Celebrates Upgrades With Open House

OAKHURST – The doors of the Boys & Girls Club (BGC) will be thrown open on Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., when the community is invited to celebrate the completion of permanent restroom facilities and other new improvements at the popular club.A free complimentary tri-tip dinner will be prepared by the Mountain Lions Club, with salad provided by The Produce Place. RSVPs are requested by Jan. 10 in order to estimate quantities. Organizers request RSVP to Sandy Chaney at Schaney@bgclubfc.org.

The festivities will include door prizes and tours of the BGC. For kids and staff at the Club, new bathrooms are a welcome upgrade from portable toilets. The BGC hosts an average of 40-50 kids every day.

The recently completed construction of restroom facilities was funded by the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians Community Grant Program.

Board President Rima Runtzel is thrilled with the new facilities. “Club members have suffered with using portable restrooms for many years, now,” reports Runtzel. “Portables may be bearable at occasional events or on a temporary basis, but nobody wants to use them every day. In the summer it is hot and stinky, in the winter it is freezing and dark early.”

In fact, the new construction has been a long time coming.

“The first set of plans for permanent restroom facilities were drawn up over 10 years ago,” Runtzel says. “We were beyond thrilled to receive funding for the project from the Chukchansi tribe’s Community Grant Program last year.”

Start to finish, the effort has been collaborative.

“Architect Patrice Jensen, contractor Randy Papike and volunteer Jim Elliott have all been involved in this project for the entire 10 years, and helped to see it through to completion,” says Runtzel. “Additionally, we could not have done it without the efforts of Supervisor Tom Wheeler, Superintendant Glenn Reid, and the entire staff and Board of the Club.”

Tuesday’s celebration at the BGC is simultaneously an Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce Business Open House Event. Organizers hope the community will visit for the Open House and free tri-tip dinner, and, most importantly to the vital establishment, support the Boys and Girls Club in an ongoing manner.

“We continue to struggle to maintain a steady stream of donations that will cover the $6,000 average monthly operating costs,” explains Runtzel. “We hope that this accomplishment will show the community that we are here for good and that it gives them confidence in contributing on a regular basis. Giving to the Club is truly an investment in our future.”

The Boys & Girls Club is located at 40094 Road 418. It is recommended that guests park in the “old” parking lot at Oakhurst Elementary School and cross the bridge to the BGC.

Phone (559) 642-4600 or visit www.bgcoakhurst.com

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